Hopewell's "Real Beauty" Art Show by Kaitlin Stuart, Algonquin College Journalism Student

It was a cold Friday in mid-February, and I walked quickly down Rideau Street on my way to Heartwood House, the location of many non-profit organizations in Ottawa, Ontario. One of these organizations was Hopewell, an eating disorder support centre for both the families and friends of those suffering from eating disorders, and the sufferers themselves.
What brought me to Hopewell was the Real Beauty Art Show, an event organized by Katrina Kassis, an artist and a friend of Hopewell. Kassis, in appreciation of Hopewell, was willing to not only organize and help coordinate this event, but to also contribute art of her own. The Real Beauty Art Show was organized in order to help re-define the image of real beauty – that is, beauty beyond the media, the models, and the distorted perception of perfection that many men and women struggle with in today’s society.
In the large white room, each one of the walls were adorned with paintings, sculptures and sketches, some for sale with a large percentage of profits going towards Hopewell, and some just for our eyes to savor. Some of the pieces were colourful, and some were black and white. In the words of Katrina Kassis, the purpose of this event was “to, through art, show people that everyone is beautiful – nothing is ugly.” Some of the artists featured in the Real Beauty Art Show were Marida Waters, Laura Daub, Katrina Kassis, and Lisa Massicotte.
Also, the event featured a bidding table filled with a range of valuable gift certificates and tickets to events, all of them being generously donated by many prestigious companies in Ottawa and offering a range of entertainment to please any type of person. All profits from the bidding went towards Hopewell, a non-government funded organization.
The Real Beauty Art Show was a representation of what many individuals are attempting to teach to young men and women alike. Beauty does not have a ‘type.’ It comes in all shapes, sizes and ethnicities, and can be found anywhere in the world, no matter what your social status. It is not defined by what you wear, or your size. Each piece at Hopewell’s Real Beauty Art Show was beautiful in its own way, exactly like each and every one of us.

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